Our Documentary Heritage team is proud to join the global initiative #ColourOurCollections that was kicked off a couple of years ago by the New York Academy of Medicine to encourage people to colour the collections of libraries, archives, and museums from around the world.

By sharing free colouring sheets and books based on materials from over 51 institutions #ColourOurCollections encourages the public to explore, colour, and connect with collections beyond their geographical constraints - http://library

From 5 - 9 February we will be sharing botanical drawings, vintage posters and iconic illustrations across our social media channels for people to download, colour, and share using the hashtag #AMColorOurCollections.

Auckland Museum’s Documentary Heritage Collection numbers in the millions, so deciding on these few pieces wasn’t easy! The challenge was to not only showcase the many wonderful objects we are kaitiaki of, but to ensure that our unique identity was championed through these objects. 

Using our combined knowledge of the collection, the team selected 24 pieces that we feel show the breadth and variety of our collection.  

Download #ColourOurCollections Booklet


Our favourites



The Auckland Institute Coat of Arms, known as Whaowhia, is absolutely the highlight of our submission. Commissioned in 1928, the word whaowhia means “filled”, as a museum is filled with taonga or a mind is filled with knowledge.

Grammar of Ornament

The Grammar of Ornament is also one of our favourites. First published in 1856 by British architect Owen Jones, this work is a collection of ornamental design, collated by Jones from numerous cultural sources around the world in an attempt to inspire and teach art students about the use of colour and patterns. It was, and still is, a celebrated source of design inspiration.

Take part!


To take part please download our colouring in book, print out the colouring sheets and share your images using the hashtags #AMColorOurCollections and #ColorOurCollection #AMCollections. 

You can also create your own versions of our Collections Online images by clicking on the following link to PIXLR Editor, a free online programme. Our handy How-to Guide (below) will help you create your own colouring collections.

Download "How to Guide"